Public Interest Report

The Journal for Science and Security

Spring 2013 - Volume 66 Number 2

New Reports

  • Iran’s Nuclear Odyssey: Costs and Risks (April 2013): FAS and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace released a report analyzing the economic effects of Iran’s nuclear program, and policy implications of sanctions and other actions by the United States and other allies. Written by Ali Vaez and Karim Sadjadpour, the report analyzes the policy implications of Iran’s nuclear program for the United States and its allies, concluding that economic sanctions nor military force cannot end this prideful program; it is imperative that a diplomatic solution is reached to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful.
  • Statement on Shared Strategic Priorities in the Aftermath of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident (April 2013): The U.S.-Japan Nuclear Working Group, co-chaired by FAS President Dr. Charles Ferguson, released a report recommending priorities for the Japanese government following the March 11, 2011 nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plan. The U.S.-Japan Nuclear Working Group is composed of bi-national experts who have come together to examine the broader strategic implications of the Fukushima accident.The report discusses specific issues that must be addressed regardless of Japan’s energy policy decisions, including:  strategy for reducing Japan’s plutonium stockpile, new standards for radiation safety and environmental cleanup and treatment of spent nuclear fuel. The group offers strategic recommendations for Japanese and U.S. industries and governments regarding the direction of Japan’s energy policy, and how both countries can work together for joint energy security.

58 Nobel Laureates Urge Congress to Halt Budget Cuts to Scientific Research

  • FAS released a letter written by Dr. Burton Richter, winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize in physics, and signed by 58 U.S. Nobel Laureates urging Congress to preserve federal funding of long term scientific research for the 2014 fiscal year budget.  With sequestration cuts to agencies which support scientific research and development including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the United States is at risk of falling behind other countries in the development of science and technology.

Regulating Japanese Nuclear Power in the Wake of the Fukushima Daiichi Accident

  • The 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was preventable. The Great East Japan earthquake and the tsunami that followed it were unprecedented events in recent history, but they were not altogether unforeseeable. Stronger regulation across the nuclear power industry could have prevented many of the worst outcomes at Fukushima Daiichi and will be needed to prevent future accidents. In a new FAS issue brief, Dr. Charles Ferguson and Mr. Mark Jansson review some of the major problems leading up to the accident including the lack of regulation of the nuclear power industry and slow updates to safety requirements, such as using probabilistic safety assessment (PSA) methods to  improve accident management plans.

Chemical Weapons in Syria

Better Understanding North Korea: Q&A with Seven East Asian Experts

  • Researchers from FAS asked seven individuals who are experts in East Asia about the  escalation in tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Is North Korea’s recent success with its nuclear test and satellite launch evidence that it is maturing? Is there trepidation in Japan over the perceived threat of North Korea attacking Japan with a nuclear weapon? How does the increase in tension affect South Korean President Park Guen-he’s political agenda? Part 1 and Part 2 of the Q&A are available on the Strategic Security Blog.